App Review: Quick Post [video] 21
There are many ways to post the same content onto sites like Facebook and Twitter, but the methods aren’t always so accurate. Yes, there are services to make Twitter go to Facebook, but those are either the kind where you have to remember to tag the post (and lose four precious characters in the process) or have absolutely everything from Twitter appear on Facebook. Neither solution is ideal, and that’s where developer Dan Perlberger of HedamiSoft decided he needed to step in with a new app: Quick Post.
Quick Post was previewed here just last week, and after a whirlwind of development it’s headed to the App Catalog. The idea behind quick post is simple: easily submit a status update to the Twitter and/or Facebook accounts of your choice. What makes Quick Post great is the combination of sheer simplicity combined with a unique automated feature set to make the entire process easier. What makes the process easier? Well, let’s start from the beginning.
Quick Post uses Oauth for both Twitter and Facebook, ensuring that your posting to those sites remains secure (Oauth requires a unique PIN be entered in the app). You can set up as many Facebook and Twitter accounts as you like, and assign default accounts and a unique shortcut code to each account to allow for easy posting via Just Type (more on that in a bit). Once you’ve got the accounts set up, you can create a new message and select the accounts you want to send it to. For your Twitter accounts Quick Post will put a 140-character counter in the top left corner, and for Facebook a 420-character counter in the to right.
While sending the same message to different services isn’t exactly a mind-blowing feature, Quick Post takes things a step further to ensure that your message is whittled down to an appropriate size for the services you’re posting to. The first thing it does is automatically run all URLs in the message through bit.ly to make them all nice and short. Following that, the message is run through 140it to remove excess spaces and replace words with common abbreviations (e.g. “you” is replaced with “u”), and then certain two- and three-letter groups are replaced with an appropriate single Unicode character (e.g. “and” is replaced with “&”).
If Quick Post can’t get your post down to the service-appropriate size, then it will split them into appropriately-sized chunks, with each post prefixes with a (X/X) to let the reader know that there are most posts to read. This message splitting is smart enough that it doesn’t go just by raw character count – it breaks at the last complete word so your readers aren’t left with a nonsensical jumble of words broken across posts.
If you’re the type to compose your post within Quick Post, the app will automatically save your post as a draft if you have to quit mid-composition. Additionally, if you happen to be in a situation where a data connection isn’t available, the app will queue up your submitted posts and automatically post them when your connection is restored.
The coup de grace for Quick Post is for webOS 2.0 users. It’s that Just Type feature that apps are just now beginning to take full advantage of: Quick Actions. Like a few other Twitter apps and Palm’s own Facebook app, Quick Post does allow you to submit your post via a Quick Action. Unlike all the others, Quick Post actually lets your do it quickly.
First up are those shortcuts we told you about: if composing a message in Just Type, you can prefix it with the shortcuts separated by a comma (or z for all) to specify which accounts you want it sent to, or just go with none to send it to your already-assigned defaults. Once you’ve got your post ready, all you need to do is hit the Quick Post button under Quick Actions and the app will kick into gear doing all of the above described shortening, splitting, and queuing to get it into your feeds. Unlike the other Twitter and Facebook apps, however, Quick Post doesn’t require that you hit a post or submit button to get your post online, no, it does it automatically. Of course, this does remove the “are you sure?” step that apps like Facebook and Carbon offer you through their Just Type integration, but doing so would fly in the face of an app named for the speed at which it is designed to let you operate (that speed being “quick”).
The question we have to ask is this: does Quick Post live up to its name? It most certainly does. In all of our trials, Quick Post was able to get submitted posts onto Twitter and/or Facebook with minimal fuss. The robust background services are what make Quick Post work as well as it does - you hit Send and forget it, regardless of where you are. There is a bit of a learning curve to using Quick Post with Just Type if you're the type that will be posting to multiple accounts, but not the same content always to all the accounts. But that curve is merely remembering which shortcuts you assigned to which accounts, and remembering to place them at the start of your Just Type composition.
So is Quick Post the app for you? That depends. If you’re the type that likes to be able to post simultaneously to multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts without having to think about it, or you’re the type that thinks of a great tweet while on the signal-less subway, or you’re the type that sometimes just wants to submit a post without having to read everybody else’s, then yes, Quick Post is the app for you. And at just $1.50, why not?
Quick Post, by HedamiSoft, will be available soon in the App Catalog for $1.50.